Colorado Christian Baker Ordered by Court to Make Wedding Cake for Gay Couple 'Would Rather Shut Down' Business

Jun 03, 2014 01:12 PM EDT

Colorado Christian Baker Jack Philips ordered to make wedding cake for gay couple
Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips decorates a cake inside his store, in Lakewood, Colo. Colorado's Civil Rights Commission on Friday upheld a judge's ruling that Phillips cannot refuse to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, despite Phillips' cited religious opposition. (AP)

On Friday, Colorado's Civil Rights Commission ordered Christian baker Jack Phillips to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, saying his religious objections did not trump the state's anti-discrimination statutes.

The unanimous ruling from the seven-member commission upheld an administrative law judge's decision in December that stated Phillips, who owns Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado had violated the state's civil rights law by refusing to make a wedding cake for a homosexual  couple 2012.

Now, Phillips is fighting back.

Phillip's lawyer Nicole Martin recently called the ruling "offensive and un-American," saying they will combat the decision.

"Jack has a long history of serving everyone in the community. However, he does not serve all events because he declines to serve all messages. Everyone can agree a wedding cake is qualitatively different than a box of brownies," Martin told the Christian Post on Monday.

"It's special, it's an iconic symbol of marriage and it has been for several hundred years, and because it says something, it's protected under the First Amendment. Indeed, I believe we can all agree that the First Amendment is the very cornerstone to our freedoms as Americans. It is part of who we are in our fabric, and for the government and the state of Colorado to come in and demand that Jack create expression for something that conflicts with his deeply held beliefs - it's offensive and it's un-American," Martin explained.

"As the commissioner from Fort Collins pointed out when Jack's First Amendment dissenters were being discussed and deliberated in the body, he pointed out 'he discriminated, period.' It's doesn't matter that Jack would and has created great cakes for gay people for years. It doesn't matter. And this one event, he declined to use his artistic talent to participate in a same-sex marriage that is not recognized in Colorado and that's the end of the inquiry for them," Martin continued.

An earlier report explained that the ruling, the culmination of a two year legal row, says Phillips may not refuse to make cakes for homosexuals due to Colorado's Anti-Discrimination Act, regardless of his  Christian beliefs on homosexuality.

"Any person doing business in Colorado has to recognize that they have to do business in an ethical and law abiding way and the law says you cannot discriminate," Raju Jairam, vice chairman of the commission, noted.

On his part, Phillips stated that he would rather close down his bakery than go against his Biblical views on marriage.

"I believe I make a personal contact with [customers] in trying to create what [they] want. ... So it's more personal, it's not just a product," explained Phillips.

 "With the wedding, I feel like I'm involved in the wedding and this is a wedding ceremony. As a Christian, the Bible teaches that the relationship is sinful and it's wrong and that we're to avoid participating in sin. And in my mind this would be participating in that," he said. "My faith in Jesus Christ comes before my need to bake cakes for a living, and if I have to close down the bakery and pursue another line of work, I would do that before I would compromise my faith."